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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Ellsberg: They had gone to the Congress and to the IG, exactly as Kerry is asking him to do, and for that they were identified as trouble makers and potential whistleblowers and were suspected of giving the information to
Andrea Mitchell
NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host of Andrea Mitchell Reports
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Mitchell: I want to ask you, one of the things that Snowden said is that he wouldn't be able to defend himself, he couldn't speak to his motivations because it would be ruled by a judge, as it was in your case, I think in that trial, that it be reviewed as not responsive or not relevant to describe why you took the Pentagon Papers or why he gathered these documents.
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Ellsberg: This country doesn't have an official Secrets Act to the kind that Britain has and most countries do have, because we have a first amendment, which they do have, which procludes an act that criminalizes any and all release of documents that the government has marked secret or top secret. that such an act has been rejected many times when administrations have proposed it on the grounds it was unconstitutional. One time they passed it in October and November of 2000 and President Clinton vetoed that on the grounds it was unconstitutional. That is the Act, the Espionage Act now, that President Obama has used seven times as if it were an official Secrets Act, which it's very clear Congress did not mean it to be and had rejected that use. And the Supreme Court has never to this day ruled on it.
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Ellsberg: It was also the revelation of crimes by the white house including and going into my doctor's office using the CIA against me numerous times, attempting to assault me or incapacitate me. All of those by the way, are now regarded at legal under this administration with the first informally and then with the help of Congress. So a President wouldn't be facing impeachment as Nixon did if he did all of those things.
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Ellsberg: I was not allowed even then, even before that ruling by the judge, to give -- to answer the question, why did I copy the Pentagon Papers? I was not able to put out a defense at all in fact under those terms. It was ruled as irrelevant that motive is not relevancy and therefore I could say nothing about the fact that these secrets had been improperly withheld all of this time and that revealing them now caused no harm. I couldn't say any evidence to that effect and neither has anyone else prosecuted under these terms since. That's such as Tom Drake and others, that's what Snowden would be facing.
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
MSNBCW 05/30/2014
Ellsberg: He would be facing a jail cell from the time he stepped off the plane here, the plane that John Kerry has offered him. He would be stepping into handcuffs and he would probably never get out unless the Espionage Act is changed as it should be, to allow a defense of public benefit, public interest in which these matters could be brought up. That's what Congress should do and even before that the Supreme Court should at last rule on those aspects of the Espionage Act that they are unconstitutional, violations of the first amendment of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Mitchell: We are going to have to leave it there. It is a fascinating parallel. Thank you so much for bringing it full circle.
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
CNNW 06/01/2014
Ellsberg: Yes, I do. I think that he (Snowden) needed to be out of the country in order to do what he has done, which is to guide several reporters that he's dealt with, Bart Gellman, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, very carefully by chat logs through the maze of arcane symbols and illusions in the NSA documents. If he had simply dumped them on the web, which he could have done without any attribution, and he would be free and clear and back in Hawaii right now if he had done that. They don't speak for themselves. There's too many symbols and code words that even I having had those clearances and been in the government wouldn't understand without someone informing me. So he's been able to do that continuously, and the only way he could do that was from outside the country.
John Kerry
Secretary of State
CNNW 06/01/2014
Kerry: There are many a patriot. You can go back to the Pentagon Papers with Dan Ellsberg and others who stood and went to the court system of America and made their case. Edward Snowden is a coward. He is a traitor, and he has betrayed his country. And if he wants to come home tomorrow to face the music, he can do so. Stelter: Reacting to that, you are calling is slanderous and despicable. Why is John Kerry wrong?
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
CNNW 06/01/2014
Ellsberg: He’s (John Kerry) wrong in many ways. First of all, he calls Edward Snowden a fugitive from justice. I would say he's right in regarding he's as a fugitive from injustice. That appeared in my own trial 43 years ago and that was the very first prosecution of any American for giving information to Americans. My trial demonstrated that I was not allowed, by the nature of the charges against me under the espionage act, to describe my motives, my reasons, the considerations that had led me to break my promise that I had made to the government many times not to reveal their secrets. I wasn't able to tell the jury that I regarded those secrets as wrongful, unconstitutional, wrongfully withheld. I wasn't able to say anything about that
Daniel Ellsberg
Author of
CNNW 06/01/2014
Ellsberg: …or why I felt that it was reasonable for me to risk my life in this circumstance as I had done earlier in the Marine Corps and elsewhere and Vietnam but to risk my life to get the truths to the American people. Snowden wouldn't have any chance to say any of those things, the sort of things that he said to Brian Williams. He couldn't say those to a jury. The prosecutor would say, objection, irrelevant, as in my case. And under the current terms of the Espionage Act, the judge would have to agree. That's why the Espionage Act needs to be rescinded as applied to leakers. It was never meant to be applied to whistleblowers as President Obama has now done seven times. It's not designed for that and it's unconstitutional in that capacity. And second, congress should pass laws that guarantee a public defense to anyone accused of breaking secrecy regulations by truth telling, by whistle blowing.
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